Caterpillar's heavy vehicles are killswitched subprime computers on wheels

In an earnings call in which Caterpillar execs explained their dismal takings to investors, Cat execs explained their plan to grow by leasing tractors to Chinese companies with crummy track-records for payment.

They'll protect these investments the same way all the subprime Internet-of-Things companies do: with killswitches.

Hard to see what could possibly go wrong with turning several tons' worth of earth-moving equipment into a mobile computer designed to be remotely operated with commands that can override the user's.

"If a customer falls behind, we have the ability to derate the engine or turn the engine off, and we've set up a legal presence in all of the provinces of China."

In other words, any and all Chinese lessors who fall behind on their payments will suddenly find their excavator's engine shut down and no longer operable, stuck in the middle of a mine, quarry, or construction site with a paperweight weighing dozens of tons.

For Caterpillar The Depression Has Never Been Worse... But It Has A Cunning Plan How To Deal With It
[Tyler Durden/Zerohedge]

(via JWZ)

(Image: Giant Caterpillar p2, AlfvanBeem, CC0)